Never before in my lifetime or my parents, have we seen a global pandemic. While I appreciate being protected by staying inside, I know healthcare workers and first responders are the frontlines. I’m assuming since most of our country’s supply of protective wear such as gloves, masks, and sterilization wipes are mostly sourced from China, we have another infection control issue at hand.
When I checked Pinterest for a mask pattern, I grabbed one I thought was suitable, and while I made 25 in my first batch, I wasn’t pleased with the fit of the mask. From having worked in our local operating room for two years wearing surgical masks daily, a well fit one to me means it includes most of my nose and mouth while still letting me breathe easily. These homemade masks are meant to protect ourselves from droplet precautions such as if someone coughs or sneezes near us. They are not meant to provide viral protection, but a pocket can be made so that additional barriers can be placed within the mask if needed. My mask design is easy to sew, fits well to the face, is comfortable and offers a design that prevents gaps around the nose and jawline, while still allowing you to breathe well.
Though there seems to be much misinformation on the internet, I’ve seen many masks made out of flannel, cotton (pillowcase), and jersey knit (T-shirt) materials. Corded elastic or ⅛” wide elastic can be used for the ear ties. Filtration can be increased by adding various layers within, such as vacuum cleaner bag, tea towel, but they also decrease breathability as well. Here’s a great article on what materials presented best for the DIY mask: https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/best-materials-make-diy-face-mask-virus/